When: Tuesday, 17th April

Time: 10a.m. – 1p.m.

Where: Microsoft Ireland, Building 3, Carmenhall Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18

Spaces are limited, register by Friday, 6th April to ensure availability!

What is the JobEnable WORKSHOP?

Enable Ireland & Microsoft Ireland have teamed to help students and graduates with disabilities prepare for employment. Heads Up is a fantastic opportunity for students & grads to get 1:1 feedback and tips on their CV and interview skills. We will discuss the business case for recruiting a diverse range of top talent irrespective of disabilities.  We will also discuss what Microsoft Ireland looks for in candidates during their recruitment process….this may be useful for the future!

Schedule of events:

  • CV Workshop – bring your CV and get beneficial and honest 1:1 feedback on it.
  • Interview clinic – have a practise interview with one of our Microsoft employees and receive feedback.
  • Recruiting for Microsoft – find out what four qualities we look for in our candidates.
  • Learn about students/grads with disabilities working in Microsoft
  • Networking lunch – enjoy a complementary lunch and meet some of our current graduates.
  • Free giveaways for everybody on the day!

Please note:

  • Numbers limited to first 20 who register. You must be registered to attend.
  • This event is open to all students with disabilities in third level regardless of
  • what course you are/have studied.
  • If you need a sign language interpreter please let us know
  • If you need assistance with travel arrangements please let us know.


Register now by contacting Julie Lyons @ by Friday, 6th April.


The Emerging Challenges in Agency Transformation

Presented By Dr Michael Kendrick Monday 16th April 2012, 10.00am to
4.30pm Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin.

The recently published Congregated Settings Report and the Department of
Health and Children’s Report on Disability Policy Review signals significant
change in services for people with a disability in Ireland.

The nature of services is that they experience many pressures to change
as the world changes around them. There are new demands emerging that services
need to become much more self-directing, socially inclusive, personalised,
flexible and address needs effectively.

This event will explore the many challenges facing today’s community
agencies and share many examples of how these challenges have been successfully
addressed. Of particular emphasis will be the progress that has been made in
regards to creating “person centered” and individualized options.

Fortunately, many agencies have tackled these challenges and provided
good examples of what can be achieved and how this might be done. This event
will share some of that learning, address the kinds of decisions agencies need
to make and expand upon the various dimensions of transformation that will need
to be engaged.

This day will be of interest to people with disabilities, their family
members, advocates, support staff, service providers, funders and policy
To reserve your place at the seminar please use the registration form on

Hearing Screening for newborn babies under
way in Kilkenny and Clonmel

DeafHear is delighted that the HSE have made further progress in
rolling-out the National Newborn Hearing Programme. The HSE has announced that
parents of all babies born at St. Luke´s General Hospital Carlow-Kilkenny and
South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, from Wednesday 21st March, will be
offered a hearing screening test – prior to being discharged from hospital. The
test is available free–of–charge for all babies.

Babies who do not have a clear response in one or both ears from the
initial testing within a week of being born will be seen for a full assessment
at the Regional Diagnostic Audiology Clinic in Waterford Regional Hospital,
shortly after their discharge.

Marking the extension of the programme to Carlow and Kilkenny, Dr. Mary
Francis (Senior Medical Officer/Community Health, HSE Carlow-Kilkenny) said:
“The hearing test will be carried out by a trained hearing screener, while the
baby is settled or sleeping – usually at the mother´s bedside. The screener
uses two non-invasive tests to screen the newborns´ hearing, with neither test
causing any discomfort to the baby. The rates of babies needing further
referral to the Regional Diagnostic Audiological Clinic will be relatively low
(estimated at about 2-4% of all babies tested). The referral does not
necessarily mean that a baby will have a hearing loss, it could be due to a
number of other factors.”

Dr. Garry Courtney (Clinical Director, St. Luke´s General Hospital
Carlow-Kilkenny), in also welcoming the extension of the programme, said: “The
Newborn Hearing Screening Programme is a welcome new initiative in St. Luke´s
GH. It benefits newborn babies and their families. Over 2,100 babies are born
at St. Luke´s GH each year and they will now be receiving this service. We have
welcomed the screening staff, as they take up their new positions. I´d like to
thank the midwives and other hospital staff for assisting them as they commence

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme has been in place at Cork
University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) since April of last year and was extended
to Waterford Regional, Wexford General Hospital and Kerry General Hospital in
November. In addition to St. Luke´s General Hospital Carlow–Kilkenny, the
programme has also begun operation at South Tipperary General Hospital in
Clonmel from today March 21st 2012 at. The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
is now in place across the entire HSE South and over 19,000 babies per year
will be screened at the six maternity hospitals in the region.

The HSE and Department of Health and Children have told DeafHear that
the NHSP will be rolled out in the Dublin South, Mid-Leinster, Dublin North and
North-East regions later in 2012, and that it will begin in the West region in
early 2013. This will mean the full realisation of a long campaign by DeafHear
whereby all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children born throughout the country will
have the chance to benefit from early diagnosis and intervention. Early
diagnosis and intervention has been shown internationally to result in major
lifelong benefits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in terms of language,
educational and social development.

DeafHear March 2012


Spring issue of NCBI News
now online

The Spring issue of NCBI News is now online. Articles
include news on the 2012 CampAbilities camp, an interview with ophthalmologist
David Keegan, an article on third level education, fundraising news, review of
the Amazon Kindle and much more.



Three Day Course to Help You Get Back to Work

The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown in conjunction with National Learning Network is offering a FREE course aimed at matching you to your ideal type of work or course.

This course is suitable for you if you are over 23 and are currently unemployed. It takes place in ITB from 20th to 22nd February 2012 (9am-3pm).  Places are limited so please contact ITB to book a place.

The course covers:  Initial Skills Profiling – Learning Styles, Working Styles, CV Preparation, Strengths and Weaknesses, Career History, Career Guidance, Interview Skills, Self-Esteem and Motivation Techniques, IT Basics, Thinking/Planning for the Future, Sales and Communication Skills.

For more information contact Adrienne Harding, ITB Access Officer, Tel: +353 1 885 1015 or email:


2012 Fundraising Events

NCBI’s fundraising calendar is now online. Events include a 10k run in the Phoenix Park, a motorbike trip to Scotland, the annual Trip to Tipp cycle, a cycle from Malin to Mizen and other great challenges and events for you to get involved in. Check out all events here.


Shaping The Future

The Central Remedial Clinic is delighted to announce the programme for the Shaping the Future Conference, 2012. The programme promises to be thought provoking and informative with presentations from a wide range of professionals reflecting the current trends in research and clinical management of children with Cerebral Palsy


Enable Ireland Volunteer named Ireland’s Charity Hero

Eamon Cleere has been Enable Ireland Kilkenny’s hero for 25 years and now he has received national recognition. Eamon was crowned Ireland’s Charity Hero at the Better Together Award ceremony held at The National Convention Centre in Dublin last night.

Eamon was one of thirty-nine people from across the country nominated for Ireland’s Charity Hero Award, an accolade that celebrates unsung heroes in our communities who have made an extraordinary contribution to good causes in a voluntary capacity.

Eamon Cleere has made an extraordinary contribution: he has spent the past twenty-five years fundraising for Enable Ireland Kilkenny, during which time he has raised an incredible €1.5 million for the charity. He first became involved with Enable Ireland Kilkenny, when his son Eamon Jr. began attending the services twenty-five years ago.

Eamon said: “It is a labour of love. My wife Margaret and I thought we’d never see our son walk when he was born, but all that changed when we discovered Enable Ireland Kilkenny. The centre has done brilliant work over the years for boys and girls in the region. I decided that it was payback time so I devoted myself to fundraising for facilities at the centre”.

Ireland’s Charity Hero Award is just one part of the Better Together campaign, which has been developed by The Wheel, the national representative body for community and voluntary groups, to build support for hundreds of charities and community and voluntary groups across the country.

Launched in October, the Better Together campaign also invited charities, clubs and associations to compete for a combined prize-fund of €20,000, by creating short online videos to showcase their work and attract new supporters, volunteers and donors. With 189 videos submitted to the competition, the top 30 videos were then shortlisted following 70,130 votes from the public.


Rathfredagh Cheshire Charity Walk 2012

Sunday 29th of January – Walk in aid of Rathfredagh Cheshire home

Start: 10 am from Barna, walking along the great southern trail to Newcastle West.

Continuing on to Rathfredagh Cheshire via the Bruff line at Lacey’s cross.

Sponsorship cards available from Rathfredagh Cheshire home. Tel: 069-83100

Download the information flyer


Donate Your Shoes for Sight

One in five people owns between 30 and 40 pairs of shoes but just over 44% admit to never wearing one quarter of those shoes. A further 34% do not wear half of the shoes in their wardrobe. These unworn shoes can now be donated to one of NCBI’s charity shops around the country in exchange for a 10% discount and free foot scan at participating outlets nationwide.

This new venture between NCBI, the national sight loss agency and Aetrex Worldwide inc, casual comfort footwear manufactuer, will create much-needed quality stock for NCBI’s 68 charity shops around the country, which sell quality clothes, footwear, toys and other items, raising funds for the charity.

Des Kenny, Chief Executive of NCBI said that people should see the value in the shoes they no longer wear. “Our survey shows that people do not wear 25% of the shoes they own, which could be as many as 10 pairs of shoes. While they may not see any value in these shoes, NCBI certainly does. Our charity shops experienced a drop in donations of clothes and other items last year but an increase in demand for quality second-hand clothes and footwear. We would urge people to de-clutter their shoe collection and donate any shoes that are seldom or never worn to one of NCBI’s shops around the country.”

NCBI provides valuable support and services to 16,500 people with sight loss but the charity needs to raise substantial funds on an on-going basis to maintain these services. Funds raised through the organisation’s charity shops forms a vital part of overall fundraised income.

“Aetrex Footwear brings quality footwear products to the Irish market and is focused on correct fit and foot comfort,” said Nicola Wade of TippToes, the Irish distributor for Aetrex.

Shoes can be donated to NCBI’s shops or to stockists of Aetrex shoes in towns around the country. Donors will receive a free foot iStep foot scan, which provides an exact shoe size, as well as a 10% discount on Aetrex shoes, socks and insoles.

For a full list of NCBI shops and Aetrex stockists visit


For more information contact Fionnuala Murphy on 087 4116925 or email


Rehab Seeks Volunteers for Five Peaks Challenge

Rehab is calling on adventurers and all those with an interest in the outdoors to sign up for the ultimate challenge of 2012, while at the same time raising money for HeadsUp, Rehab’s youth suicide prevention project. The Five Peaks Challenge takes place over three days, from 3 – 5 August, with participants climbing the five highest mountains in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.

In a marathon combined 17,373-foot climbing effort, participants will scale Carrauntoohil in Ireland, Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Mount Snowdon in Wales over the course of the three days of the August bank holiday weekend. A full training plan is provided and a reasonable level of fitness and endurance is required. Each person is asked to raise €1,800 and advice and support on running fundraising events will be given. A deposit of €150 is required to secure a place.

Caroline Murray from County Westmeath, completed the challenge in 2011. She says, “I signed up for the Five Peaks Challenge last year because I really wanted to set myself some fitness goals and have something to show for it. I had a reasonable level of fitness but I certainly wasn’t an exercise addict. I hadn’t climbed a proper mountain before, just a few hills, so I knew that if I could climb five peaks in three days it would be the ultimate achievement. I got great support from the Rehab staff with fundraising – that was a lot easier than the physical training and preparation!

“The best thing for me during the challenge was the support of my fellow climbers – whenever I needed some motivation they were there beside me, encouraging me to keep going with jokes and promises of chocolate and hot showers! The months of training paid off and even though there were times when I was tired, cold and wet, I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I wasn’t going to give up! Despite aching limbs at the end, I was totally elated and the sense of personal satisfaction was unreal— I had done it! It really is one of the best things you’ll do in your life.”

Pauline Crowley, Rehab’s Head of Fundraising, adds, “The Five Peaks Challenge is an amazing adventure which pushes our minds and bodies to the limit, but that in return offers a real sense of achievement and the prospect of making some forever friends! Funds raised go to HeadsUp which was established in 2005 as a youth project to promote mental health among 15-24 year-olds, with the aim of reducing the number of suicides among young people in Ireland. It delivers a number of different programmes throughout the country including the HeadsUp Text service and interactive website, as well as parenting, life skills and suicide prevention training courses. So c’mon everybody – not only will it be good for your own mental health, but you will also be helping others look after theirs too!”

To register for the Five Peaks Challenge, please contact Kerry Houlihan on 01 2100 521 or email Registration forms are also available at


Rehab’s Services First in Ireland to be Awarded European Excellence Award – EQUASS

Thursday October 27 2011: “Rehab’s training services, delivered by National Learning Network, have become the first in Ireland to be awarded the EQUASS Excellence Award,” Angela Kerins, Chief Executive of the Rehab Group said today.

“EQUASS, or the European Quality in Social Services Excellence award, is a European quality award for organisations providing social services, and is used as a reference for social services legislation in several European countries. A number of European states, such as Norway, Germany, Portugal, Estonia and Slovenia have adopted EQUASS as one of the approved standards for disability services.

For more information please visit Rehab’s website here


CRC’s Santa Bear Appeal 2011
December 1st – 11th

The sun is shining and it is difficult to believe that we are already contemplating the 2011 Santa Bear Appeal. Now is the time to contact the Fundraising Department of the Central Remedial Clinic if you are interested in supporting this year’s appeal.

We are always delighted to have new volunteers and volunteer schools join our fundraising endeavours and without the support and interest of so many the appeal would not be the success that it is.

Please contact the CRC Fundraising Dept if you think that you can assist the Santa Bear Appeal campaign.


Enable Ireland Christmas Cards Available

A range of Enable Ireland Christmas cards are available now! Special ranges of cards are also available in Cork and Kilkenny.

A number of Christmas Card designs are available from all Enable Ireland shops and also in Enable Ireland services and in Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Nenagh, Sandymount, Tallaght and Bray.

A pack of six cards (one design per pack) is €2.99
For more information please click here


Meath Community worker shortlisted for Prestigious Worldwide Award

Local community artist Mark Smith has been shortlisted for the inaugural 2011 Vodafone World of Difference Grahame Maher Award. Mark, winner of the Vodafone Ireland World of Difference last year, is one of only three Irish finalists for the award, with sixty finalists worldwide. The overall award winner will receive a £100,000 grant for their charity to spend over 12 months, developing and implementing a visionary project that has a lasting impact.

Through the Vodafone Ireland World of Difference fund, Mark Smith has spent the last 12 months working with his chosen charity RehabCare in Navan. Mark has devised and implemented a range of exciting arts projects for those who use the RehabCare resource centre, including flying kites on the Hill of Tara for European Anti-Racism week, 40 life-size colourful silhouette sculptures for social inclusion week to highlight who isn’t fully included in society spread throughout the North East, stained glass trail as part of the Solstice summer festival, a sell-out drama called HallowScream and 7ft 3D Daffodils for Cancer Research to name but a few.

Speaking as voting gets underway for the award, Mark Smith said ‘”I would love the opportunity to continue working with my chosen charity, RehabCare, as the last year with them really has been life-changing. I have some great ideas and plans for future projects and winning this award would allow me to make those dreams a reality. The highlight for me so far has been developing the fantastic talent that there is here within RehabCare in Navan. I have witnessed first-hand how the arts can reconnect people with a disability to their communities and how it can raise a person’s self-esteem. I’ve also seen many new friendships being made through the collaborations between different local community groups.’

‘By 2020, one in six people within the European Union will have some form of disability. With this in mind, I envisage – through a lot of hard work, passion and commitment – to change the public’s viewpoint of someone with a disability, mental health issue or someone with an acquired brain injury. The goal is to get people to look beyond the disability and see the person in front of them as a fully contributing member of society.’

Mark Smith has over 20 years experience working within the creative arts, from graphic and web design to fashion show production. Mark is passionate about community arts and is committed to creating and delivering projects with the aim of raising awareness of and promoting social inclusion for all who are deemed to be on the edge of society.

There are currently 60 entrants from all over the world vying for the 2011 Vodafone World of Difference Grahame Maher Award. In order to get to the next stage, Mark needs to get the highest number of votes for his video on the Vodafone Ireland World of Difference Facebook page. Voting opened on 07 October and closes at midnight on 21 October. One finalist from each of the 20 countries will be chosen to go through to the next stage.

Mark Smith said, ‘I’m asking everyone to vote for me so that I can continue working on exciting and worthy projects with RehabCare. Grahame Maher and his family had Irish origins, so it would be fitting to bring the first ever Grahame Maher Award home to its roots! More importantly, winning this Award would mean that we could continue the programme of creative community arts that we’ve been building on and to keep changing the perspectives of people with a disability to the point where the public sees the person and not the disability. In turn, this will help us to eventually create a more equal and socially inclusive society. ‘

To vote for Mark log onto and click on the Grahame Maher tab. Voting closes at midnight on Friday, October 21st.


CRC Comedy Night October 20th Olympia Theatre

Mark the date in your calendar and be prepared for a night of side splitting laughter. This annual event is one of the highlights of the CRC Fundraising Calendar and an evening not to be missed.

Tickets for the show in the Olympia Theatre are €28 and show and after show party tickets are only €50 each. Be entertained by some of the best comedians in Ireland and support the Clinic and the free services which it provides.

For further information please contact or Freephone 1800 612 612


No Limits 2012

Enable Ireland are currently seeking volunteers for our ‘No Limits’ fundraising and awareness campaign 2012.

The campaign, which will take place from 17 – 23 September, is designed to lift the spirits!

With you behind them, the 3,800 children and adults with disabilities we support can achieve the most amazing things!

Our kite is a symbol of independence and fun and through our appeal this September, you can help us to raise awareness of the achievements of people with disabilities and raise much-needed funds for Enable Ireland’s services.

All funds generated will help us fund the best facilities in which to provide therapies, educational and social supports for children, adults and families around the country.

Together, we can support people with disabilities to live life with No Limits!


Jobs at Cheshire

Join Cheshire in working to create innovative, community-based supports designed in partnership with each individual person.

Cheshire Ireland is an equal opportunities employer. All successful candidates will be subject to vetting by the Garda Vetting Unit.

• Registered General Nurse X2 Dublin
• Senior Care Support Worker Greystones
• Community Care Support Worker X4 Dublin
• Community Care Support Worker X7 Dublin
• Staff Nurse x2 Dublin 20


VOTE FOR Enable Ireland Kerry

Manor West Retail Park Charity of the Year 2012

Enable Ireland Kerry are in the running to be the Manor West Retail Park Charity of the Year 2012 – a partnership that could be worth €15,000 or more to services for children and adults with disabilities in the Kingdom.

All you have to do is like Manor West Retail Park on Facebook: and then vote in the poll they have listed on the left hand side of their page.
The winner will be announced at Manor West’s 10th Birthday Celebrations on Saturday 5 November 2011.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in Kerry!

For further details please contact Sean at 066 712 8220 or e-mail


Vision Impairment And Blindness Cost €386 Million According to “Cost Of Sight Loss” Report

Figure Expected To Rise To €449 Million By 2020

NCBI, the national sight loss agency, today revealed that the real financial cost of vision impairment to the state is €386 million for 2010. The information is contained in a report commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics which revealed that the country has 224,832 people living with low vision and sight loss. The “Cost Of Sight Loss” Report warns that the numbers affected will rise to 271,996 with a cost to the state of €449 million by 2020. This cost to the Irish economy not only includes health care expenditure, but also incorporates the value of caregiver time, lost productivity (unemployment) due to impaired vision, and efficiency losses due to government-funded eye care and welfare payments to the blind.

“The study’s findings represent the most definitive data currently available about the cost of vision loss in the Republic of Ireland,” says Des Kenny, CEO of the NCBI. “The burden placed by vision loss on the Irish healthcare system and wider economy will continue growing unless greater steps are taken to detect and treat eye conditions that cause vision impairment. This is why we desperately need the “Vision Strategy” that is now a number of years overdue. We are hopeful that recent meetings with the Department of Health show that the Strategy will be forthcoming soon.”

The total financial cost of vision impairment and blindness to the ROI includes €117 million in health care expenditure (direct costs) and €269 million in other (indirect) costs.

“We expect the costs of vision impairment and blindness to increase alongside population ageing in Ireland,” says Mr Kenny. “This trend could be countered through regular eye screening for the elderly, people with diabetes and other groups at greater risk of eye disease, as well as research and funding for treatments to manage AMD, retinopathy and cataracts”.

The study also measures the health impact using Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs): the unit of disease burden favoured by the World Health Organisation. It is reported that, in 2010 alone, the Republic of Ireland population will be deprived of the equivalent of 18,537 years of healthy life (DALYs) due to disability and premature death associated with vision impairment and blindness. The report projects that this burden will rise to 23,465 DALYs in 2020.

“This is the first study to estimate the total prevalence of vision impairment and blindness in the Republic of Ireland, as well as the associated costs to the economy. Previous studies have only reported the number of people registered blind, or the prevalence of broader vision impairment in children or specific communities,” says Adam Gordois, Associate Director of Health Economics and Social Policy at Deloitte Access Economics, Sydney. “In addition to health care costs, sight loss incurs substantial knock-on costs to the economy that should not be ignored. In fact, we estimate 43% of the total financial cost is from unemployment due to impaired vision, and the associated loss of productivity to the Irish economy, and the value of caregiver time to assist the vision impaired with everyday activities. Our results highlight the need for intervention at a national level to manage conditions that lead to vision impairment.”

Recommendations for reducing the burden of disease
The burden highlighted in the report can potentially be reduced through effective prevention, detection and treatment of eye conditions that lead to vision impairment and blindness. Three eye care interventions are evaluated in the report and found to be cost-effective according to WHO thresholds:

• An educational program aimed at increasing the uptake of eye tests in people aged 70 years and older, who are at risk of age-related macular degeneration and other eye disease;
• Free annual eye tests for people aged 10 years and older with diabetes, who are at risk of diabetic retinopathy leading to vision loss;
• Increased hospital funding to reduce cataract surgery waiting lists.
• The burden could also be reduced through greater uptake of eye examinations, more research and funding into new treatments for the main causes of vision loss, and increased affordability of eye care services and spectacles for the Irish population.

Read the Cost of Sight Loss Report here

– ENDS –

For further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Ger Kenny, Communications Clinic, 087 2488393


The report uses the NCBI register, the 2006 National Disability Survey, previous Irish studies of vision impairment, and Deloitte Access Economics’ estimates of vision loss in other countries, to estimate the prevalence and cost for all people with a visual acuity below 6/12. This cut-off is in line with recent recommendations to expand the WHO definition of vision impairment.1


This report was developed by Deloitte Access Economics for the NCBI. The report estimates the direct health care system costs, indirect costs, and health burdens of vision impairment and blindness for the years 2010 to 2020. The full report can be accessed at


Dandona L, Dandona R, Revision of visual impairment definitions in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, BMC Medicine 2006, 4:7